Save the Pearls Readthrough (Part II)

Last time, I shared our comments about the book’s background and promotional materials.  Today, we jump right in with the book itself.  It begins in The Combs, a dystopian underground place where black people rule and white people call black people a lot of names.  As always, the original thread can be found here.

Ami Angelwings:

Applying her makeup, Eden expertly shaded her face to appear Coal-like. She refreshed the brown caps in her eyes with darkening drops. Red lipstick, smoothed over the lines to make her lips seem fuller, was the last touch. She let her long black hair dip over one eye and smiled. “Definitely passing, right?”

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golliwogg

Ami Angelwings: I love how she believes all latino people are one colour, as are all Asian people (which of course she means East Asian people, who are ALSO A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT SHADES).

She ranks them as black people (darkest and therefore most powerful), latino people, East Asian people, then white people…

Middle Eastern people apparently don’t exist…

Ami Angelwings: Eden calls black women “bitch” and “coal bitch” in her head a LOT in this story. But it’s okay because she’s oppressed!

If you replace the word “coal” with “coon” or the n-word, I think we get a more accurate idea of what Foyt thinks of black people, esp black women. She seems to exotify black men >_<

Ami Angelwings: 

The injustice of it burned in her gut. Better to punish the Pearl than upset the Coals. If only Bramford knew what it was like to be an outcast.

Only Victoria Foyt truly understands what it’s like to be an outcast!

Ami Angelwings:

She peered through the glass wall at the dark, masculine robot behind the scanner. It was a classic prototype of the ruling class, from its mahogany-colored casing right down to its superior attitude.

Even their robots are dark, masculine, sexy bad boys!

Me: I’m just trying to figure out how killing people at age 18/24 if they don’t reproduce is going to help the failing birthrate, or why you’d want to up the birth rate if resources were too limited to support the existing population.

But there’s also a one child quota (for pearls? For everyone? I can’t tell). So, to reiterate: You people are not worth the resources you consume. Unless you produce more people. But only one more person.

Me: They also sterilized the albinos. Maybe you would not have an underpopulation problem if you just let people reproduce!

Me:

The cramped four-room unit

Raise your hand if you’ve lived in an apartment with fewer than four rooms!

Blackbloc: I’ve lived in a one-room unit, though I guess it wasn’t cramped by any definition. I could see a four room being small if it’s just divided terribly, but certainly sounds a lot like a suburban bourgeois’ definition of post-apocalyptic incomfort (and OMG you need to walk ten minutes to the nearest store cuz no cars y’all!).

Ami Angelwings:

The Uni-Gov called oxy “the happy drug,” which seemed absurd since everyone knew happiness had gone the way of the dolphins.

Oh god the writing x_x

“Eden Lavinia Newman, Zone Four, Caucasian?” the officer said without great interest.

Apparently people who aren’t Eden don’t use slurs. xD Maybe it’s just her.

She flashed on the date: the 29th of May, her half birthday. For Earth’s sake, how could she have forgotten?

OH GOD THE WRITING

Foyt needs to learn that using words like “For Earth’s Sake” and “Half Birthday” doesn’t make her story sound any more futuristic.

“Do you realize you’ll be eighteen years old on
November twenty-ninth?”
“Yes, I do.”
“And are you aware that your Basic Resources will be stopped unless you mate by that date?”

People born on February 29th would be the luckiest people in the world. xD

“We cannot afford to supply precious resources to those who do not contribute to the continuation of our
species.”

Why do black ppl want to help white ppl survive in reverse racism evil world? -_o

Me:

She suspected that each and every Coal passerby wanted to hurt her, though the statistical odds against that were high.

Someone told Foyt “Write what you know,” so…

Ami Angelwings: While I suspect she does that IRL, I think this was her implying that PoCs fearing white ppl is irrational and paranoid.

Ami Angelwings:

Her Life-Band flashed and Eden’s official entry on the Uni-Gov mating site began to play.

I guess forcible entry into OK Cupid is kinda oppression. 😄

Me:

The larger of the duo, a blue-black giant, smiled at her and licked his lips.

Aaaaand big black rapist guy.

The big solider had a knife, and Eden had no doubt he’d use it to kill her.

Yeah, the writing. As opposed to the knife that she has no doubt he’ll use to cut his food, I guess?

Me: She’d have me garnering more sympathy for the Pearls if she wasn’t constantly saying how much she hated Coals.

Ami Angelwings:

Even at the age of seven, Eden knew love was dead. Only biological instinct and evolutionary climbing

mattered.

MRAs [Men’s Rights Activists] would love Foyt.

Argenti Aertheri: Having just started chapter 3, I want to third that “oh gods the writing!” This is horri-bad in so many ways (having skipped Twilight, this may actually be the worst thing I’ve ever read Rolling Eyes )

Ami Angelwings:

He often skipped meals, which, along with his genetics, made him rail thin. If Eden weren’t careful she’d be just as skinny, and even less desirable.

Oh okay, opposite world where being white AND thin is oppression.

Ami Angelwings:

Now, the good stuff, she thought, dialing in a fresh coating of Midnight Luster. Her spirits lifted as her skin
and hair darkened to a lustrous shade of black.

I’m so disturbed by how Foyt is romanticizing putting on blackface.

Argenti Aertheri:

Eden loved old tales about siblings. But one child was the allowable quota, if the mated couple produced enough uni-credits. And like most kids, she never knew her grandparents, who had died, either from The Heat or the toxic environment, long before she was born.

We’ve got an And sentence, and then a But sentence. This is terrible writing. (There’s the answer to whether they can only have on kid though)

Ami Angelwings:

“How’s my Little Bunny?” he said.
“Jamal,” she said, her sensors registering the warmth of his arms as they snaked around her.

OH GOD THE WRITING.

Ami Angelwings:

Was it the warrior-like tattoo or his dark good looks that had felt threatening? About a ninety percent mate-rate, she’d guessed.

Even hardcore racist fetishists have to get their arousal deflated by discussion of how much percent mate-rate people are.

Ami Angelwings:

And what more public event to show his intentions than at a Moon Dance? By law, everyone had to attend at least nine a year.

Forced dating site oppression. Forced dancing oppression. 1984 this is not.

Ami Angelwings: Has anybody noticed that in black run world, we have mandatory dancing?

Ami Angelwings:

“But I’ll have to go alone.” The thought terrified her.
“Don’t worry,” Jamal said softly. “As soon as you get off the 19:00 transport, I’ll be waiting.” He cupped
her chin and looked deep into her eyes. “It’s time for Jamal to make a righteous move. Do you
understand?”
She gulped. “Yes.”
“Good.” He gave her a peck on the cheek. “See you tomorrow night, Little Bunny.”
She reached for him but he was gone. Stunned, she lay there, going over what he’d said. Time for Jamal
to make a righteous move.

This is romantic dialogue.

Ami Angelwings:

All of a sudden, she heard two men behind her. Coals, she figured by their careless, drunken laughter.

Oh my god.

Ami Angelwings:

Luckily, she found a few inches of space to hold onto the overhead bar in the back section reserved for Pearls.

Of course.

Me: Meanwhile, Eden’s white dad is the brilliant scientist who’s going to make everything better, because he’s white and smart. Black guys are just for beating people up.

And the villains are…an army of black guys who are going to kill all the white people. In a world of oppressive black people, the bad guys are black people who think they’re not being oppressive enough.

Ami Angelwings:

If her father’s work succeeded, a Pearl might be able to withstand solar radiation as well as, or even
better than, a Coal. Maybe then Pearls would no longer be treated like garbage.

Foyt does understand that racism is not about an actual tangible difference?

Ami Angelwings:

She filed into line as the passengers began to shuffle off the transport. Her heart
skipped a beat when she saw two FFP soldiers staring back at her. They wore drab, brown-and-black
paramilitary gear with berets over their shaved heads. The larger of the duo, a blue-black giant, smiled at her
and licked his lips. His tall, skinny friend laughed. Eden quickly turned away in a panic.
She had imagined it, she told herself. Besides, they would be gone soon. But when she turned up the aisle
they still stood on the side, watching her. Her heart slammed in her chest as she drew near. Just as she
feared, Giant and his lanky friend stepped around her, forcing her to continue between them towards the
exit.
“Look what we caught,” the skinny one said behind her. “A real live Pearl.”
Eden recognized the high-pitched, squeaky voice as belonging to one of the men who had followed her on
board. Mother Earth, why had she come alone?
An old childhood ditty echoed in her head. Her mother had refused to teach it to Eden, but she’d learned
it all the same.
Little Pearly whirly,
lost inside the mines;
tossed from Coal to Coal,
in fear, she whines,
“I’m sorry, Mother,
he said he only wanted
to see my white skin shine.”

Yes. Black rapist threat, and a poem that’s totally not racist cuz white ppl are oppressed remember?

Ami Angelwings:

She peered around Giant, hoping for a sign of her Dark Prince but Squeaky grabbed her. He pawed her
dress, ripping it along the side.
“Leave me alone,” Eden said, shakily. “Someone is waiting for me. Someone important—one of your
people.”
“He won’t mind if we share a little Pearl stew,” Squeaky said.
As he pushed her out of the vehicle, into the security line, Eden began to scream. Giant turned,
smothering her in his arms.
“Be quiet, Pearly,” he whispered in her ear. “Or else.” He jabbed a sharp point in her side.

YUP.

YUP YUP YUP

Watch out for those rapey black men they’re after your white women!

Ami Angelwings:

His bodyguard Shen stood nearby, an illegal laser in his hand.

I want an illegal laser Sad

Ami Angelwings:

Bramford kept his eyes on her while he spoke to him. “If you release the young lady in the next five
seconds, I won’t have to kill you.”

I think I wrote dialogue like this when I was 10.

Ami Angelwings: Isn’t it odd how reverse racism world sounds so much like regular racism world in describing black men?

Me: Yeah, there’s a conspicuous lack of white men threatening to rape black women. Or white people doing anything bad.

Nobby: Obviously, she is making a statement about the unfair treatment and vilification of the oppressed class! Please just ignore the fact that it perfectly aligns with current narratives. Move along, nothing to see here.

Ami Angelwings: Okay, I’m done for the night. xD I have a date tomorrow! Can you believe it? Me, an Amber getting a da-… crap this book is getting to me.

Me: G’nite! And don’t worry, Ami, you definitely have a mate-rate of at least 80%.

Next time, erotic furries.  Really.

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Posted on April 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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